markskor wrote:While I whole-heartily applaud Mav's gung ho attitude here, trying to rescue a good friend, his obviously frustrated reaction and subsequent quitting of HST because of a lack of mass member response puzzles me.
Having gone through a few years of SAR training in Yosemite, one instantly realized: (1) There is close/complex coordination among all involved in any high-country search, and (2) These are the best prepared searchers alive. They have the gear, they know the area, and they have practiced long and hard for just this contingency. Summer Sierra searches in benevolent weather are hard enough, but winter investigations in adverse conditions such as exist now, the conditions this late in the year present inherent dangers. Right now, 2+ feet of crusty snow covers the search area...post-hole hell. Stamina, gear, coordination, and carefully practiced rescue routines immediately come into play. Training and close communication with (and dependence on) what the other SAR members are constantly doing hopefully lessens the possibility of other collateral casualties.
While some of our HST members are probably capable of getting up that 6000 foot pass in summer conditions, their actual assisting in any winter search up there under present conditions today, without prior group training, seems at best, problematic if not precarious. Sometimes things are better left to the pros even though doing nothing can make one feel helpless.
Additionally, being a solo artist myself, I realize that there will always be inherent dangers in hiking alone. I know and accept these risks as they only involve me. Causing someone else being hurt if/when rescuing me…
I freely choose my routes knowing the dangers; I would not wish peril on anyone else.
Here we have no tracks, no signs, no fires, no tent, and Larry is over a week late on a relatively short, 4-day adventure. Over 35 highly-qualified and highly-trained volunteers spent wilderness days (and nights) looking for Larry with the assistance of both two helicopters and dogs; day-time weather search conditions all this week have been good. While still optimistic, the fact remains that more inclement weather is soon expected – winter is eminent, current backpacking/travel conditions just getting up to 11,000 feet are treacherous, and crappy Sierra cement makes travel perfidious, hiding everything.
Bottom line: I pray for Larry and I hope Mav reconsiders.
This!!!! and AlmostThere's post I have watched this unfold from the beginning. I had nothing to really contribute other than well wishes for Larry's safe return. I did not want to muddy up the incoming information with noise.
We had a very close family friend work Yosemite SAR and the one thing I learned DO NOT interfere and let them do their jobs.
The chances of the untrained, in these conditions of becoming a victim, are HUGE.
All of those that have worked SAR have the same obvious theme, and it is for good reason.
Our friend left because he got tired of dealing with all the death. One of those was from a situation almost identical to this. The civilian search party ended up in serious trouble and one died, the others were in very serious condition, as they insisted on searching over one more ridge, a surprise storm hit, and even though they were somewhat prepared it was simply overwhelming.
No one could get to them due to the intensity, and the rest is history.
While Mav is upset and disgusted with the lack of volunteers, how would he feel if the team ended up with the same fate as above.
Enough said from me on the subject. Here is hoping it all turns out OK for Larry and there is a safe return.